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State Auditor: ‘puzzled’ by federal investigation

by caprecord
State Auditor Troy Kelley
State Auditor Troy Kelley

State Auditor Troy Kelley says he doesn’t know why a federal grand jury is interested in his former real estate services company, and that he “remains puzzled” by a federal investigation that resulted in a subpoena and search of his home last week.

“I have fully cooperated with their investigation and remain puzzled by their interest,” his statement says. “I do not know any specifics about their inquiry, despite repeated requests for information, and cannot comment further.”

Federal investigators are looking into financial activities related to The Post Closing Department, Kelley’s former real estate transaction business in California, according to a subpoena released by the Auditor’s office last week.

According to The News Tribune and The Olympian, the U.S. Attorney seeks information on Jason Jerue, a California man who worked with Kelley at the business, and who has worked as a contractor for the state Auditor’s office since 2013.

The subpoena of the Auditor’s office seeks information on Jerue’s recent employment by the state auditor and emails related to a 2010 lawsuit against the company and “any criminal offense,” according to The Seattle Times.

Kelley’s office is cooperating with the federal investigation, he said in his Monday morning statement.

“I can assure you that all of my actions over the years have been lawful and appropriate,” the statement read.

Statement from Auditor Troy Kelley

Kelley says The Post Closing Department, which provided real estate services, closed in 2008. The Post Closing Department was sued by another company in 2010, under allegations of misappropriation of funds and questionable business dealings, according to a 2012 Associated Press story. The lawsuit was settled in 2011.

Kelley’s Tacoma home was searched by U.S. Treasury agents on March 16, according to The News Tribune, and federal investigators have requested information about Kelley from the House of Representatives and the state Department of Revenue.

Kelly, a Democrat, served for six years in the House, representing the 28th District. In 2012, he defeated Republican James Watkins for the seat vacated by Auditor Brian Sonntag.

During the election, Watkins accused Kelley of misdeeds in an interview with both candidates on TVW’s “Inside Olympia.”